By Todd Wineburner
OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht medical center and its patients will soon benefit from the generosity of Lilly D. Crawford. Crawford was a Flanagan resident who passed away in 1971, leaving behind a trust that consisted of two tracts of land totaling 320 acres. Under the terms of the trust, the land will now be auctioned off with the proceeds enabling OSF St. James to renovate the west side of their building and construct a permanent and upgraded MRI facility. Pam Meiner, Director of Marketing and Communications for OSF St. James, says MRIs have been available in Pontiac since 2002, but they've been provided in a portable unit. A longtime goal has been upgrading that portion of the hospital. “We wanted to improve the patient and staff environment significantly,” Meiner says, “and we can do that with the renovation and construction of a fixed MRI suite.”
Meiner says the MRI machinery will be upgraded as well, providing a machine with a larger bore that will ease the claustrophobia some patients feel during magnetic resonance imaging. To make room for the MRI suite, the hospital's lab will be moved. That part of the project will include upgrading the laboratory, as well as the waiting and reception areas for the lab and emergency services. Meiner says the lab should be operating again late this year, while the MRI suite won’t be ready for patients until 2014.
The trust property is northwest of Flanagan in Livingston County. Acreage and buildings including a home will be auctioned. Anyone interested in bidding on the property must be present at the Flanagan American Legion Hall at 10 tomorrow morning (3-21). Bank of Pontiac manages the Crawford trust and can provide details about the property and the auction at 844-6155.